WORKFORCE: Yeovil District Hospital FT is working towards its first group of band 4 associate practitioners.

The nursing workforce at the trust is already largely 50:50 registered to unregistered in most general wards and the use of band 3 assistant practitioners is well established.

Heads of nursing have conducted a skill mix review with each ward sister/charge nurse and matron as part of the budget setting process.The ratio of registered to unregistered was identified to produce the numbers of Nurses Per Occupied Bed (NPOB).

Department of Health guidance uses a ratio of 1.34 NPOB as a benchmark for the provision of quality care taking account of some patients having a higher dependency than others. The trust has an average NPOB ratio of 1.63.

A report to the board on safe staffing identified “small margins for the development of the band 4 nurse practitioner, particularly in specialist areas such as coronary care where registered to unregistered ratios remain high”.